The shows

CTV

CTV

By Annette Bourdeau

Big Bang Theory

CTV/CBS

Mondays, 8:30-9:00 p.m.

the story: Two nerds try to interact with their attractive female neighbor.

the cast: Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Jim Parsons (Judging Amy), Kaley Cuoco

(8 Simple Rules).

the backing: Exec producers Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Bill Prady (Gilmore Girls). From Warner Bros.Television.

the verdict: The premise, writing and acting are solid enough to keep people from changing the channel between Corner Gas and Two and a Half Men.

Big Shots

CTV/ABC

Thursdays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: A dramedy following the personal and professional antics of four CEOs.

the cast: Michael Vartan (Alias), Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Christopher Titus (Titus), Joshua Malina (The West Wing,

Sports Night).

the backing: Exec producers Jon Harmon Feldman (American Dreams), Charles McDougall (Desperate Housewives). From Warner Bros. Television.

the verdict: Think Desperate Housewives starring men. With a good cast and witty dialogue, this one should easily hook the sizeable DH fan base and also appeal to the Grey’s Anatomy crowd, which CTV has this leading out of.

Dirty Sexy Money

CTV/ABC

Sundays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: An idealistic lawyer gets roped into representing a rich, corrupt and outrageous family, putting a strain on his integrity and family life.

the cast: Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), Donald Sutherland (everything), William Baldwin (The Squid and the Whale).

the backing: Exec producers Craig Wright and Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters), Peter Horton (Grey’s Anatomy), Matt Gross (Day Break), Bryan Singer (Superman Returns). From ABC Studios.

the verdict: It’s good. But it might not be good – or different – enough to lure people away from competing family drama Brothers & Sisters on Global. This will be a showdown.

Gossip Girl

CTV/CW

Tuesdays, 7-8:00 p.m.; 8-9:00 p.m. following conclusion of Dancing with the Stars

the story: Teen drama about affluent prep school kids in Manhattan.

the cast: Blake Lively (Accepted), Leighton Meester (Surface).

the backing: Exec producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (The OC), Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). From Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Paramount Television.

the verdict: This one’s certain to have a

built-in audience in fans of the popular novels of the same name. It could fill the void left by The OC’s departure.

Moonlight

CTV/CBS

Fridays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: An un-dead PI tries to use his powers to protect the living and help a pretty young crime reporter.

the cast: Alex O’Loughlin (The Invisible), Amber Valletta (Hitch).

the backing: Exec producers Rod Holcomb (ER), Joel Silver (The Matrix). From Warner Bros. Television.

the verdict: The unknown O’Loughlin doesn’t seem charismatic enough to carry this, and the plot isn’t original enough to help it develop a cult following. Paired with an unfortunate Friday night timeslot, the odds aren’t in this one’s favour. Then again, its lead-in is Ghost Whisperer (the hit nobody expected). Tough to call.

Private Practice

CTV/ABC

Wednesdays, 8-9:00 p.m.

the story: A newly divorced neonatal surgeon, played by Kate Walsh, leaves Seattle Grace Hospital for a new start at a private practice in Los Angeles in this highly promoted Grey’s Anatomy spin-off.

the cast: Walsh, Tim Daly (Wings), Taye Diggs (Day Break).

the backing: Exec producers Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy). From ABC Studios.

the verdict: Consider that Walsh was signed to only a few episodes of Grey’s before joining the cast full-time. Her fan-favourite status bodes well for this one. Plus, early buzz is positive.

Pushing Daisies

CTV/ABC

Tuesdays, 8-9:00 p.m.

the story: A mild-mannered piemaker has the ability to bring the dead back to life with his touch, but if he touches them again, they die forever. Things get complicated when he revives his childhood sweetheart.

the cast: Lee Pace (The Good Shepherd), Anna Friel (Rogue Trader), Chi McBride (Boston Public).

the backing: Exec producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (Traveler), Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Heroes). From The Jinks/Cohen Company and Warner Bros. Television.

the verdict: Original, engaging and very Tim Burtonesque. Already getting a lot of positive Internet buzz. This one just might develop a cult following.

Global

By Annette Bourdeau

Journeyman

Global/NBC

Mondays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: ‘Romantic mystery-drama’ about a newspaper reporter who keeps inexplicably travelling through time, presumably to change people’s lives.

the cast: Kevin McKidd (Rome).

the backing: Exec producers Kevin Falls (The West Wing), Alex Graves (The Practice). From 20th Century Fox Television.

the verdict: It leads out of Heroes, but it’s up against CSI: Miami on CTV. Early buzz is divided between those who see it as the next Quantum Leap and those who find it disorienting. *Tidbit: NBC is claiming it’s the highest-testing drama it’s had in the past five years.

Cane

Global/CBS

Tuesdays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: A multigenerational drama about a wealthy Cuban-American clan living in Miami who own a successful sugar/rum business. CBS is touting it as not only a meaty family drama reminiscent of The Godfather, but also a history lesson about the plight of Cuban exiles.

the cast: Jimmy Smits (The West Wing), Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope).

the backing: Exec producers include Cynthia Cidre (The Mambo Kings), Jonathan Prince (American Dreams), Jimmy Iovine (8 Mile). From CBS Paramount Network Television.

the verdict: Will likely do well with the Latino American target, who may appreciate the Spanish mixed into the dialogue. Not sure if the abundance of family drama, attractive actors and ongoing history lesson will be enough to hook average Canadians and lure them away from CTV’s Law and Order: SVU.

Back to You

Global/Fox

Wednesdays, 8-8:30 p.m.

the story: A bigshot news anchor loses his prime Los Angeles post after an embarrassing tirade is caught on tape and spreads on YouTube. Winding up back where he got his start as an anchor in Pittsburgh, he is reunited with a former flame as co-anchor. Sexual tension abounds.

the cast: Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), Fred Willard (Anchorman).

the backing: Executive producers Steven Levitan (Just Shoot Me), Christopher Lloyd (Frasier), director James Burrows (Cheers). From 20th Century Fox Television.

the verdict: With a strong, familiar cast and solid writing, this one’s poised to quickly attract a loyal following of traditional sitcom fans.

Life

Global/NBC

Wednesdays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: A zany detective returns to the force after spending years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Oh yeah, he’s suddenly filthy rich after getting a big settlement for his lost time.

the cast: Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers), Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell).

the backing: Exec producers Rand Ravich (The Astronaut’s Wife), Far Shariat (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), David Semel (Heroes). From NBC Universal Television Studios.

the verdict: Those who like quirky heroes (think House) will take to this cop dramedy. However, its slot following mediocre ratings performer Bones and facing off against CSI: New York on CTV probably won’t help.

Canterbury’s Law

Global/Fox

Midseason, timeslot TBD

the story: A courtroom drama following a cantankerous defense lawyer who isn’t afraid to bend the rules. Her career ambitions strain her relationship with her husband, a law professor. Sort of a female version of Shark.

the cast: Julianna Margulies (ER).

the backing: Exec producers include Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and Jim Serpico (Rescue Me). From Sony Pictures Television and Apostle.

the verdict: The market is already saturated with courtroom dramas. Timeslot will be key.

Swingtown

Global/CBS

Midseason, timeslot TBD

the story: Set in 1970s suburbia, Swingtown follows one family’s move into an affluent

new neighborhood where the neighbors like to swing.

the cast: Grant Show (Melrose Place), Molly Parker (Deadwood).

the backing: Exec producers Mike Kelley

(The OC), Alan Poul (Six Feet Under). From CBS Paramount Network Television.

the verdict: Sexy, unique, fun and compelling. Very HBO. Global would be wise to give this one a juicy timeslot.

E!

By Annette Bourdeau

Viva Laughlin

E!/CBS

Sundays, 7-8:00 p.m.

the story: A musical, er, drama, um, comedy about an entrepreneur sinking everything

he’s got into opening a luxury casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

the cast: Lloyd Owen (Miss Potter), Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), guest starring Hugh Jackman (X-Men).

the backing: Exec producers Hugh Jackman, Paul Telegdy (BBC Television), John Palermo (X-Men), Bob Lowry (Huff), Peter Bowker (Viva Blackpool), Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness). From CBS Paramount Network Television.

the verdict: It’s a bit jarring when the plot jumps from business thriller to family drama to karaoke time, with actors singing along to pop songs by artists like Blondie and the Rolling Stones. This is based on the popular British miniseries Viva Blackpool, but it’s hard to say who – if anyone – this will appeal to.

K-Ville

E!/Fox

Mondays 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: A cop drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans about trying to clean up the city so people will move back home.

the cast: Anthony Anderson (The Shield).

the backing: Exec producer Jonathan

Lisco (Jack & Bobby). From 20th Century

Fox Television.

the verdict: Interesting premise, but tough timeslot up against Heroes on Global and

Two and a Half Men on CTV.

Cashmere Mafia

E!/ABC

Tuesdays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: Four female execs cope with the costs that come with their success.

the cast: Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal), Frances O’Connor (Iron Jawed Angels), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings), Bonnie Somerville (NYPD Blue).

the backing: Exec producers Darren Star (Sex and the City), Kevin Wade (Working Girl).

the verdict: Of all the new shows being billed as the next Sex and the City, this is the only one that may actually deliver on that promise. But it’s likely to get trounced up against House, Dancing with the Stars and The Tudors.

Kid Nation

E!/CBS

Wednesdays, 8-9:00 p.m.

the story: Reality show about 40 kids tasked with rebuilding and running a ghost town in New Mexico without any help from adults.

the cast: Forty children.

the backing: Exec producer Tom Forman (Extreme Makeover).

the verdict: As silly as the premise sounds, people love watching kids accomplish amazing feats. Could catch on.

Bionic Woman

E!/NBC

Wednesdays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: When a pretty young bartender almost dies in a car crash, her bioethics professor boyfriend saves her by turning her into a ‘bionic woman.’

the cast: Michelle Ryan (EastEnders), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Mae Whitman (Arrested Development), Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan).

the backing: Exec producers David Eick (Battlestar Galactica). From NBC Universal Television Studio.

the verdict: With a strong cast, solid writing and a considerable push from NBC, this

could very well secure a loyal fanbase, à la Battlestar Galactica.

Women’s Murder Club

E!/ABC

Fridays 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: Four professional women – a detective, D.A., medical examiner and journalist – team up to solve murder cases and dish girl talk.

the cast: Angie Harmon (Law & Order).

the backing: Exec producers Scott Winant (Huff), Joe Simpson (father of Ashlee and Jessica), Brett Ratner (Prison Break), James Patterson (author, Women’s Murder Club). From 20th Century Fox Television.

the verdict: While Harmon is good as the lead on this offering based on the novels by James Patterson, the rest of the cast is weak and the writing is cheesy. It’s certainly not the next Sex and the City, as it’s being billed.

Life is Wild

E!/CW

Midseason, timeslot TBA

the story: A New York veterinarian moves his newly blended family to live in a rundown lodge in South Africa.

the cast: Leah Pipes (Clubhouse), Brett Cullen (Friday Night Lights).

the backing: Exec producers Michael Rauch (Love Monkey), Charlie Pattinson and George Faber (Wild at Heart). From CBS Paramount Television, Warner Bros. Television and Company Pictures.

the verdict: Based on the British series Wild at Heart, this is an engaging, well-executed family drama with broad appeal.

CBC

By Mary Dickie

Heartland

Sundays, 7-8:00 p.m.

the story: The Flemings – grandpa, newly motherless daughters and estranged dad – try to keep their Alberta horse-rescue ranch in business while dealing with family and

social issues.

the cast: Chris Potter (Zoe Busiek: Wild Card), Amber Marshall.

the backing: Produced by the CBC.

the verdict: The net is banking on the enduring appeal of stories about young girls and horses as well as writing by Heather Conkie, who’s worked on Road to Avonlea, and Leila Basen, one of the lead writers on Bon Cop, Bad Cop. The series of novels, which inspired the show, have sold 6.5 million

copies worldwide.

The Tudors

Tuesdays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: The exploits of King Henry VIII when he was a charismatic young stud rather than a fat, unhealthy old man, changing the roles of church and state and chasing skirts at his court.

the cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Elvis), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park).

the backing: A Canada-Ireland coproduction by Toronto’s Peace Arch Entertainment in association with CBC and Showtime.

the verdict: Intrigue, murder, lots of sex and a mesmerizing performance by Rhys Meyers should draw viewers in Canada as well as the U.S., where its April debut was Showtime’s highest-rated premiere in

three years.

No Opportunity Wasted

Wednesdays, 8:30-9:00 p.m.

the story: A reality series in which contestants face their fears and accomplish something that challenges them.

the cast: Hosted by The Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan.

the backing: Produced by Suddenly SeeMore Productions, which specializes in travel, adventure and doc TV.

the verdict: The Amazing Race is a hit, NOW has been a hit in New Zealand – and audiences like to see people swimming with sharks.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Thursdays, 7:30-8:00 p.m.

the story: A reality show in which 13 famous Canadians uncover their family histories.

the cast: Randy Bachman, Don Cherry.

the backing: CBC production based on the BBC show.

the verdict: Genealogy is always popular, and lots of people will want to know where Cherry got his fashion sense.

Torchwood

Fridays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: Sci-fi drama based on a covert organization investigating paranormal activities in Wales.

the cast: John Barrowman (The Producers), Eve Myles (EastEnders).

the backing: Commissioned by the BBC, and created by Russell T. Davies, who was behind the British version of Queer as Folk, which was a hit.

the verdict: As a spin-off of the long-running cult fave Dr. Who, but with more adult themes, it should have a good shot despite its Friday night slot.

St. Urbain’s Horseman

TBD

the story: Miniseries based on Mordecai Richler’s comic novel about a guilt-ridden Canadian director living in London who fantasizes about a more valiant, adventurous life.

the cast: David Julian Hirsh (Naked Josh), Andrea Martin (SCTV), Elliott Gould

(Ocean’s 13).

the backing: Exec producer is Galafilm Productions’ Arnie Gelbart (The Great War).

the verdict: A classic Canadian novel, a great cast – what more do we want?

Triple Sensation

TBD

the story: A kind of highbrow Canadian Idol in which young Canadian actors, dancers and singers vie for a scholarship at a theatrical training institution anywhere in the world.

the cast: Judges include actress Cynthia Dale, composer Marvin Hamlisch and impresario Garth Drabinsky.

the backing: Drabinsky is a producer.

the verdict: Depends on how bottomless our appetite is for talent shows.

CHUM

By Jesse Kohl

Blood Ties

Citytv/Space

Mondays, 8:00 p.m.

the story: An attractive ex-cop turned private investigator with a degenerative eye disorder solves supernatural crimes with help from a 450-year-old vampire.

the cast: Christina Cox (sporadic parts on Numb3rs, House).

the backing: Insight Film Studios and Kaleidoscope Productions.

the verdict: The show’s got horror, romance, comedy, the CN Tower – and it’s based on the Blood Books by Tanya Huff, which may draw a following for the TV series. The Canadian production premiered in March on Lifetime in the U.S. This fall, it goes up against Prison Break, Dragons’ Den and Dancing with the Stars, which may prove to be a challenge.

Chuck

Citytv/Space/NBC

Tuesdays, 9-10:00 p.m.

the story: A geeky gamer becomes a powerful weapon for government agents to stop terrorist plots.

the cast: Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect).

the backing: Exec producer/writer Josh Schwartz (The OC, Gossip Girl).

the verdict: The show’s quirky, cool, funny and it’s got good pacing. You want Chuck to get a girl, you want him to save the world and you want him to kick some ass. It’s a strong and distinct alternative to Dancing with the Stars and The Tudors.

Reaper

Citytv/Space/CW

Tuesdays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: A guy turns 21 only to find out he’s got to spend the rest of his life as a supernatural bounty hunter capturing fugitives who’ve escaped from hell.

the cast: Bret Harrison (The Loop, Orange County), Nikki Reed (The OC).

the backing: Exec producer Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma).

the verdict: This is a solid show that

moves along with some great effects. It’s a good follow-up for fans of Buffy the

Vampire Slayer.

Terminal City

Citytv

Thursdays, 10-11:00 p.m.

the story: A woman who runs a failing reality TV show is diagnosed with breast cancer, and, as her life changes, she turns the reality series into a hit.

the cast: Maria del Mar (Blue Murder).

the backing: CHUM Television, Movie Central and The Movie Network.

the verdict: Terminal City has already racked up accolades from press since it aired on TMN in 2005, and has won awards for acting and directing. The story touches all the right buttons – sexuality, fear, comedy, loss, life

and death.

Kyle XY

A-Channel/Space/ABC

TBD

the story: Young Kyle wakes up in a forest naked and wanders into society with no social or communication skills and no belly button. A family takes him in and he soon begins to demonstrate amazing abilities.

the cast: Matt Dallas (Endgame).

the backing: Producer/writer J. Mackye Gruber (writer/director, The Butterfly Effect).

the verdict: The show’s pilot pretends to be intriguing, but it’s not. There’s also an attempt to be cute by using a Wonder Years-like voice-over that describes Kyle’s first-time experiences, but that fails miserably, too. Ultimately, it was painful to watch.

Across the River to Motor City

Citytv

TBD

the story: Insurance investigator Ben Ford leads a mystery that spans four decades when his girlfriend disappears. Her body turns up, as does his daughter, who wants to unravel Ben’s secrets, which he will risk everything to keep.

the cast: Sasha Roiz (Jeff Ltd.).

the backing: Devine Entertainment, Jonsworth Productions.

the verdict: No preview DVDs were available, but the show sounds promising. Then again, promises can be broken.